25 July 2010

More answers, more questions

I apologize for not updating about my naturopath appointment sooner.

I know that it isn't too surprising, but I was too tired.

My appointment was at 12:30pm and I felt like I had completed a triathlon before my appointment when all I had done was a yoga class! My results, as prefaced by my title, are not as clear-cut as I wanted them to be. I've become a complete sadist when it comes to medical conditions (perhaps it's self-preservation since the last time I got health-related results I had the WORST possible kind of endometriosis, horrible adhesions, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts, but I digress...).

First off, I want to say how much I love my naturopath! When I told her that I was having some serious depression symptoms that I attribute to my thyroid she almost started to cry. She said that she was so sad for me because she said that I was "like a ray of sunshine."

I've been so darned tired lately that I've been more like a storm cloud!

So onto my results. Is there any way to insert a drum roll?

I had a four point cortisol test done for my adrenals and I also had my DHEA level tested. My naturopath recommended that I had my sex hormones tested, but after some research (and urging from the very knowledgeable Barbie, who btw is a new mom, go over and congratulate her!) I didn't. I saved $200 so I will be forever thankful!

Here are the numbers:

Hormone Status Result Range Units Range Applied
DHEAS Above range 14 3.0-11 ng/mL Endogenous DHEA 35-54 yrs.
Cortisol AM Within range 6.1 2.0-11 ng/mL within 1 hour of waking
Cortisol noon Low end of range 1.6 1.0-7.0 ng/mL s ampled at noon
Cortisol PM Within range 1.5 0.5-3.5 ng/mL sampled before dinner
Cortisol HS Within range 0.5 0.2-1.3 ng/mL sampled at bedtime

I wish that I had a scanner so you could see the adrenal function graph on my results, but I'm definitely on the lower range of all the results (or at least that is what my naturopath told me).

There was a questionnaire that came with the spit test and the results from that coupled with the spit test results gave more information. I have an additional three pages of tiny type analyzing my symptoms. The biggest being symptoms of elevated testosterone. Apparently high levels of DHEAS are an indicator of high testosterone and estrogen (although I have low estrogen which my Napro doc has been trying to treat). According to the analysis sheet from my test I may have acne, increased facial hair growth, oily skin and abdominal weight gain. I do have an increased amount of acne which has been caused by oily skin and I am a little tubbier in the belly. I had attributed all of these things to all of the IF drugs. The only increased facial hair I have is in the eyebrow area. I have had to get my eyebrows done more often, but I definitely don't have any more facial hair (I am not growing a beard!).

Another interesting finding was that I have symptoms of hypothyroidism. I do have a cold intolerance, I've felt depressed, I suffer from fatigue, have aching muscles (and I thought it was all of that yoga!) and lastly thinning hair. The last symptom is a little shocking. I have A LOT of hair and I have always had a lot of shedding. My fertile bf used to marvel when we were roommates that I lost so much hair. My mom also used to complain that she always had to clean up my hair. I thought that it was normal, alas I don't think so any more!

I am so glad that my Napro doctor tested my thyroid. I really hope that she has some wonky results when I see her in September!

The biggest concern for my naturopath was the drop of cortisol levels from the morning to noon. The report says this:

"...cortisol drops sharply from morning to noon; this may be indicative of a degree of dysregulation of adrenal function. In a study of Vedhara, noon salivary cortisol in individuals experiencing low stress was 58% or morning salivary cortisol, whereas in the high stress group, noon salivary cortisol was 39% of morning salivary cortisol)."

Although three of the four levels of cortisol were within or above the normal limits, I'm still on the lower end of the scale (which is why the graph I mentioned earlier is important). The report says, "It is also possible that the patient's symptoms are arising from some other issue such as decreased delivery of T3 to tissue, decreased formation of T3 in tissue, an imbalance of neurotransmitters or some other problem such as accumulation of toxic elements." (Please not the last thing!).

I wish that I was more well-versed in all things adrenal and thyroid. I've read through my report more than once and it's pretty overwhelming! The one thing that keeps coming out at me is hypothyroidism. My naturopath has increased my adrenal support and she has put me on homeopathic thyroid support as well. I took the thyroid stuff this morning and I had energy until about 3pm! Pretty amazing for me.

I would welcome any comments or advice about my results. Like I said, I wish that things were a little more clear cut, but I think that we're making some headway. Hopefully my Napro doctor will be able to shed more light on these results for me!


  1. Your adrenals are low....My morning when I had them tested one year ago was 5.9 and my doctor now said he would have prescribed cortisol to me back then...Plus I was within range but on the low end of within range. Plus you have screaming symptoms.

    So did she test your thyroid or did a doctor do that? Symptoms are great but what are the numbers...?? Just wondering...It will tell a lot more!

    But your symptoms are spot on....

    I know NOTHING about DHEA but I know that it is important..hahahah I just got my DHEA tested as well...

    So what is the outcome.....?? Please don't tell me some natural supplement. :) Sorry, I just don't think they work to get you moving before school. I think they are great in addition too...JMHO.

    I have great adrenal vitamins but they are $140 a month and I need to be on them 4x's a day 4 different vitamins for 6 months....

  2. Opps...Sorry I didn't read that she put you on "natural" stuff....

    I'm such a drug girl. :) hahahaha Especially when things are off in a major way.... :)

  3. Uggh...I also wanted to say that I wonder the endo, thyroid, adrenal connection.....I know that weak adrenals are the cause of auto immune diseases. But I would have to read more into that to get the right wording. It's in a great book I got....

    It's a pain to learn but once you learn it you slowly catch on.... ;)

    Plus more then likely (I also wonder) once your hypo if you will always be hypo.

    I know that cortisol is supposed to be used not long term per say but for enough time to give the adrenals a break and then they should start working on their own...So that is good to know....

    Weak adrenals. :( Busted thyroid. :(

    Oh and one more thing...Depending on how HYPO you are it could make it more difficult to get pregnant.... ;)

  4. I have no advice... I'm always in need of some myself! What do you take for adrenal support and what's this homeopathic thyroid support??!! And, I'm with Sew... what are those thyroid numbers!? Very curious! :)

  5. Sew: I won't have my thyroid numbers until Sept 2nd. That's when I see my Napro doctor next.

    You need to get me the title of that book ASAP girl!

    Jenny: The adrenal support supplement that I've been on for the past year and a half is called "Ortho Adapt Vegan." It's made by a company called AOR. I used to take two a day (one in the morning and one before bed). Now I have to take two in the morning and one at lunch since that's when my adrenals are at their lowest.

    The thyroid stuff I'm on is called "Ribes nigrum" made by Gemmo. I have to take 50 drops (2.5mL) in the morning.

  6. OK, I know DHEA helps convert the extra testosterone and boost estrogen, but I don't exactly know how or why.

    I hope your Napro doc can answer some of these questions and you can find some answers.

  7. I am freaking exhausted, therefore, no comments from me tonight... but prayers!!!

  8. I am an ignorant fool on all of this (Sew has had to spoon feed me the basics), but I can offer my prayers!!!

  9. It's called the Adrenal Fatigue The 21st Century Stress Syndrome By Dr. James L. Wilson...

  10. Glad you got your results...hopefully the docs can shed some light on them for you! Hang in there!

  11. I hope the doctors can get you feeling better soon.

  12. I am sorry I have no useful comment on the subject. But I have a question though, I know you did the saliva test through your Naturopath Dr. but do Napro Docs do adrenal blood work too? I will be doing the cycle long hormone test with Dr. S soon and wanted to know if it includes adrenal panel.
    I know how you feel; I am in the same boat suffering from chronic fatigue, foggy brain etc.
    Hope all goes well for you

  13. Adrenals and Thyroid are way over my head, but my gut instinct tells me you are onto something here!!

    You are still in my daily prayers, and I am still very hopeful for you. Btw the cycle I got pregnant my thyroid was tested and it came back as "low." But I still conceived? Weird. Not sure what we'll do about it but I wonder how many people on planet earth have adrenal/thyroid isses and still conceive. Regardless, its worth fixing just to feel better.

  14. I recently had some of these tests performed and I couldnt make sense of the reports! My doctor went over them with me, but it's not as cut and dry as you would think. It makes sense to me that low adrenals and low thyroid would go hand in hand. I am hypothyroid and even on meds still carry symptoms which me wonder if I was even diagnosed properly or if there is something else going on.

    Hopefully they are testing your TSH, T4 And T3 uptake, along with a few others.Looking forward to your results.

  15. Glad you got your results! I'm still a newbie in all this, so no advice, but lots of prayers! :)

  16. Is there any way you can call your NaPro doctor and get those numbers now, and get a prescription for thyroid meds in the mail (if needed)? I ask because unlike a lot of these things that are "maybe this will help, maybe this is what this means," about hypothyroidism there isn't any debate. And it's widely acknowledged to interfere with fertility. Moreover, because the medication is hormonal, it takes a LONG time to build up to full strength in your body - 1-2 months. So if you get on it now, they can take more blood in September and see how you are responding to the dose (or whether your numbers respond but not your symptoms, which happened to me, so I switched to "natural" thyroid instead of synthroid, and then I had to change that dose) - all of this takes months, and I always want to get a head start!

    Don't know anything about DHEA though :). Sorry!

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